Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: September 16, 2011


Solyndra applied for a 2nd loan

The Daily Caller is reporting that Solyndra, famed for going belly up and putting the taxpayers on the hook for half a billion dollars, applied for an additional DOE loan for $469 million.

Failed solar panel maker Solyndra’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that seven months after the Obama administration’s Department of Energy approved a $535 million federal loan guarantee, Solyndra applied for a second one valued at $469 million.

“On September 11, 2009, we applied for a second loan guarantee from the DOE, in the amount of approximately $469 million, to partially fund Phase II,” Solyndra wrote in a report it filed with the SEC on December 18, 2009. “If we are unable to obtain the DOE guaranteed loan in whole or in part, we intend to fund any financing shortfall with some combination of the proceeds of this offering, cash flows from operations, debt financing and additional equity financing.”

This application went in right after it received the original $535 million from the DOE. So, the question is, what happened to that application? Well, so far, it seems that no one can say.

It’s unclear if the now-bankrupt and scandal-embroiled green energy company actually received a second loan. Department of Energy officials did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment, and the company’s SEC filing left the question open.

So, did Solyndra get that second loan or not? Are we on the hook for more than a billion dollars? It seems like if the answer was "no", the DOE or Obama Administration would be fairly keen on letting us know that.

I’m really curious about this now.

(H/T: Ace)

~
Dale Franks
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Anyone–who is the number 3 oil producer in the world?

This may surprise you, but it is the US.  In fact, it probably does surprise you,  given all the whining about our dependence on foreign oil.  You’d think that we were a poor nation when it comes to petroleum resources and the amount we import.

Quite the contrary.  And you’d think that it would be in the best interests of the US to exploit its resources to a) give us a larger percentage of secure oil and b) employ oodles and bunches of Americans in an industry that has some pretty good and high paying jobs.

You’d think.

First the news:

The study released Thursday by the National Petroleum Council, a collection of industry, academic, government and other officials convened by the secretary of energy, touted how advanced technology has unlocked vast formations of natural gas previously deemed uneconomic to tap.

But the report also said the same drilling and production techniques that opened up shale gas – combined with success in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, the Canadian oil sands and even surges in conventional oil onshore – are improving the nation’s potential to be more self-reliant for oil, according to the report.

"Contrary to conventional wisdom the North American oil resource base also could provide substantial supply for decades ahead," the report said.

FYI, this isn’t just some industry group turning out reports that favor drilling. 

The National Petroleum Council, a collection of industry, academic, government and other officials, convenes several times a year to gather information, give advice and issue reports on topics for the secretary of energy. The most recent report was a 2007 study on global energy supply and demand.

In 2009 Energy Secretary Steven Chu asked the group to look at U.S. natural gas and oil resources based on four concepts: economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, energy security and prudent development.

Optimistically, the Council believes that the US and Canada combined could produce 22.5 million barrels a day when the new resources are added in.  Secure oil.

And, if we’d just get to work and try to tap these assets, Goldman Sachs believes we’ll surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer in the world by 2017:

And earlier this month, Goldman Sachs said in a note to investors it expects the U.S. – now the No. 3 oil producer behind Saudi Arabia and Russia – to take the top spot by 2017.

This, given the current economic (and political) conditions, should be a no-brainer, shouldn’t it?

Well shouldn’t it?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Is Obama delusional? (update)

I know that’s a rather impertinent question to ask, but after reading this, I have to wonder what planet he’s on:

At a campaign fundraiser Thursday night in Washington, D.C., President Obama said he believes his chances of being reelected in 2012 are “much higher” than they were in 2008.

“Over the last couple of months there have been Democrats who voiced concerns and nervousness about, well, in this kind of economy, isn’t this just — aren’t these just huge headwinds in terms of your reelection?” Obama said.

“And I just have to remind people that, here’s one thing I know for certain: the odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”

Really?  Honestly? 

I have no idea how he manages to say that with a straight face or could actually believe that (or is this just “whistling past the graveyard?”).  Of course to make the point that he’s completely delusional if he believes this I’d have to lay out a long list of differences between now and then.  Such as the fact that Bush had been demonized to such an extent that it was pretty clear that a change was in the air, Obama was considered a great candidate for (pick your reason – a few listed as we go) and the media went all in on him.  He wasn’t vetted as most candidates are and conventional wisdom said his thin resume and lack of leadership weren’t significant problems because he was so freakin’ brilliant and awesome, oh, and he was black, which helped assuage the white guilt some seemed to be carrying around.  Finally, his campaign was admittedly brilliant, people believed what he said (not yet knowing he was all hat and no cattle in that department) believed he could do all he said and they just felt it was a time for change.

Well, in three years later and times as well as perceptions of the man have changed.  And not in a good way for Barack Obama.  Democrats have buyers remorse.  Key constituencies are deserting him as the election approaches.  Independents left him long ago.  For the first time he has to actually run on a record – which to this point is abysmal.

Is he really talking odds?  Or is he really talking about a fantasy?  I’d point out that, in my opinion, the odds of him being elected given the circumstances surrounding the last election were much better for him being elected than they are now.  He was the fantasy candidate then for many Americans.  Now he’s just in the fantasy, apparently, because most Americans have figured him out by now, and they don’t like what they see.

Disconnected?

Just sayin’.

UPDATE: Apparently David Axlerod shares the delusion (or may be its author):

Despite a growing storm cloud hovering over his presidency and reelection hopes, President Obama is in strong shape and Americans stand by his plan for jobs, Obama’s top campaign adviser said Friday.

In a memo to Sunday news show producers and other reporters, campaign strategist David Axelrod said that Obama is in good shape with his base, strong with Hispanics and in a good position to beat any of his Republican rivals.

See link above about “strong with Hispanics”.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Fed loan program that gave us Solyndra has created few jobs (update)

One of the center pieces of the Obama administration’s recovery plan has been its green jobs program.  It was touted by the President as an investment in the future.  And he even managed to snooker Congress into including $38.6 of your dollars in a federal guaranteed loan program in the Stimulus bill – a version, in this case, of the government going into the venture capitalism business.

The results, as they say, are predictable:

A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.

The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.

Half the money is gone and it has created 3,545 “new, permanent jobs”?  You do the math – pretty high cost of job creating wouldn’t you say?  Oh, and that number is actually down by 1,100 thanks to Solyndra.

So are green jobs, of the type to be found in alternative energy, the best way to approach easing unemployment?  Not really, say some experts:

Obama’s efforts to create green jobs are lagging behind expectations at a time of persistently high unemployment. Many economists say that because alternative-­energy projects are so expensive and slow to ramp up, they are not the most efficient way to stimulate the economy.

“There are good reasons to create green jobs, but they have more to do with green than with jobs,” Princeton University economics professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has said.

Which is a nice way of saying this is more about political agendas than putting Americans to work, and unemployment is an excuse, not  a reason, for pursuing this agenda.  And the cost of that agenda has been pretty prohibitive with no real worthwhile results in the ostensible problem it was supposed help solve – unemployment.  

Another example of government using your money to pick winners and losers and everyone coming out poorer in the bargain.

UPDATE: No, I didn’t see Dale’s post.  My bad.  I’ll leave mine, but now that Dale’s putting up a lot more stuff, I’m going to have to discipline myself to look first before I go popping something up (I use Live Writer, so unless I specifically look at the blog, I don’t see a list of what is up).

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO